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PREMIER LEAGUE: Off colour Man Utd held at Newcastle

Man Utd extend lead to seven points at top of Premiership after scoreless draw at Newcastle. Arsenal will still feel there in with a chance after United failed to extend their lead despite enjoying large chunks of play they rarely extended the Newcastle rearguard.

The first ten minutes were frenetic as the Toon dominated and created a couple of decent chances as the visitor's were penned back inside their own half.

Yet United almost took the lead in the first minute but keeper Tim Krul bravely dived to prevent the ball reaching Wayne Rooney.

The Reds remain unbeaten at St James' Park since 2001 and in truth Newcastle fully deserved the point gained which eases their own lingering relegation worries.

United gradually gained control as the game wore on but the best chance fell in the second half to Ryan Giggs who dragged his effort wide after being set up by Patrice Evra and then in the final minute Rooney headed past the post.

In truth Newcastle frustrated United who for once lacked quality in the final third of the field.

The home side also had a good claim for a penalty after the break when Anderson brought down Peter Lovenkrands but the perfectly positioned Lee Probert was unimpressed.

Michael Owen came on as a substitute for the Reds and was roundly booed by the Toon supporters for his disappointing stay on Tyneside.

United have still only won only five games on their travels this campaign and have yet to win back-to-back away games and from Sir Alex Ferguson's point of view this will be seen as two point's dropped.

Referee: Lee Probert

Venue: St James' Park Attendance: 49,025

Newcastle scorers: Man Utd scorers:

NEWCASTLE 26 Krul 02 Coloccini 03 Jose Enrique 06 Williamson (yellow card) 12 Simpson 07 Barton 08 Guthrie 18 Gutierrez 24 Tiote (yellow card) 11 Lovenkrands (Ireland 69) 23 Ameobi (Ranger 72)

Substitutes 33 Soderberg, 14 Perch, 16 Taylor, 27 Taylor, 22 Ireland, 30 Ranger, 42 Kuqi

MAN UTD 01 Van der Sar 03 Evra 12 Smalling 15 Vidic 22 O'Shea 08 Anderson (Valencia 70) 11 Giggs 16 Carrick (yellow card) 17 Nani (Owen 80) 10 Rooney 14 Hernandez

Substitutes 29 Kuszczak, 20 Fabio Da Silva, 23 Evans, 13 Park Ji-Sung, 25 Valencia, 28 Gibson, 07 Owen

 Click here for the No1 coverage of all the gossip and transfer news around Manchester United.

 Click here for the No1 coverage of all the gossip and transfer news around Newcastle United.

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Dave Williams

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